Students united, Let’s talk people

Students begin by introducing themselves, sharing their name, major, and preferred pronouns.

Blatigenous is a club that focuses on the socioeconomic issues and outcomes of Black, “Latinx,” and indigenous peoples.

James McKeever, chair of the Pierce History, Humanities, Philosophy and Sociology Department, acts as the club’s advisor.

“The reason we choose those groups of people is that they are at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy,” McKeever said.

The inclusive club allows students to share their views of the world around them.

“It allows allies too. You don’t have to be Black, Latino, or indigenous to be in the club,” McKeever said.

Mckeever said that the club doesn’t just focus on race but also on intersectionality, a topic which is important to the members of Blatigenous.

“Another thing that we work on is not just issues of race, but issues of gender and sexuality as well,” McKeever said.

McKeever, who presented the idea to start the club, said Blatigenous has been active at Pierce for three years.

“One day, I was talking to some students in class, and we were talking about social injustice issues, and I said we need more of a Blatigenous approach. And that’s when I started thinking I’m going to make a club,” McKeever said. “A politically active club.”

McKeever said another reason for starting the club was for other racial clubs on campus to join together.

“I wanted something that bridges the divide for some of these racial groups, and cause them to see a little bit of their common struggle, and get them to work together as well,” McKeever said.

McKeever said it’s inspiring to see the dedication the students bring to the club.

“I get really active students. I get students who have big dreams, who want to do a lot of things,” McKeever said. “Most of the time, I have to tell them to slow down a little bit to make sure it’s not taking away from their studies.”

The club allows student to be more active and aware about their current socioeconomic atmosphere, which is empowering to students, said McKeever.

“This campus has, one, racial issues, and two, you have a lot of college students who are just becoming aware in a more political socioeconomics sense of injustices in the world,” Mckeever said. “They want to feel like there is something that they can do, and this gives them the small way of informing other students or directly getting involved in certain social justice issues.”

Blatigenous Vice President Lorene Milligan said she joined the club to help spread awareness.  

“I want to help people, which I know a lot of people say, but as an ally, I feel like I can use my privilege as being white to do a little more,” Milligan said. “Unfortunately, sometimes people of color get overlooked.”

Milligan said the club has helped her become more connected to her community.

“It’s a way of going outside myself, because I think sometimes people have a small window to look out of,” Milligan said. “It’s a way for me to get to know my community and get to know other communities, and assist them in anyway I can, but also help me gain knowledge.”

Milligan said she shares what she learns in the club at home.

“I’ll talk to my mom and my grandmother, which broadens their horizons, and hopefully makes them look at things differently,” Milligan said.

Blatigenous Club President Xochitl Medina said that the club shines a spotlight on issues to make people more aware of their surroundings on campus.

“There really isn’t a lot of presence in people of color, undocumented folks,” Medina said. “I argue that we need to have clubs like this to show support for undocumented, people of color, to show them that we do belong in education.”

Medina said despite the challenges that she might face as a women of color, the club allows her to express herself and take action.

“It’s a challenge for me because I was always a shy person,” Medina said. “When I joined the club, it really opened me and I became the person I am today, more involved.”

Blateginous meets Wednesdays at 2 p.m. in English Building 1205.